Chapter One: Dark Magic

Maybe it was all the years of abuse at the hands of Orochimaru and Kabuto or the nights she spent in passionate embrace with Itachi and Deidara, but Lynn was completely and utterly in love with the darkness.

It had such a duality to it: it was so straight forward, as clear cut as black and white, and as elaborate as the shadows in the hearts of men. It was as innocent as the dreams of children in their bed and as cruelly sadistic as the ebony cloak she relied on during her solitary excursions into enemy lands…it was also the places she hid her heart, her soul, even from the ones who loved her, and the places that had bred the psychological wounds that continued to haunt her.

When she was alone in that bed, she could feel Orochimaru's cold breath on the back of her neck and Itachi's warm lips on hers. She could remember Kabuto's icy gaze as he stared at her exposed back and Deidara's tender touch as they basked in each others' presence.

And she was acutely aware that all those tangled feelings had finally found a place to coexist in the Black Dark Magician Girl: she was as powerful as her master, the Dark Mage himself, but with all the flirty lightness of the one in Yami's deck. It was everything that she was turned in on itself and allowed to flow freely at the same time.

When her fingertips brushed the top of that card, she could literally feel it's power surge through her; that card gave her place to confide the darkness of her heart and to unleash all of the rage, all of the hurt and trauma those years had left behind. When she dueled with that card, she didn't need to hide behind the façade of strength she was so used to putting up.

That card had filled a void that no one else could. It wasn't the romantic love she shared with Seto Kaiba or the motherly love she had for Mokuba or even the blood bond she had with her sister that had been tempered in battle. The love she shared with that card was so pure, so deep, that it sometimes scared her. She worried she might drown in the depth of power and the width of expanse they shared between them.

She felt the soul of that card, pulsing in Yami's deck, even before she ever set eyes on it…but when she did…she just knew…knew from the bottom of her heart and the intelligent intensity of her mind that they were meant to be together, to fight together.

It wasn't until years later, of course, that she understood why: in the same way the Magician's Valkyria was the evolution of Sakura's heart and desires and the burning intensity of her soul, the Black Dark Magician Girl was hers. She was the potential for healing that Lynn had clung to all along, and in that want, hope itself had been created…

Staring at the card in her hands, Lynn felt such awe, such respect, for who she was…who she had been. The Black Dark Magician Girl was the promise of the future and the reconciliation of the past…a reminder to remember those dark days but to choose to keep walking towards the light.